Go Back   Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum > Main Category > Fly-Fishing Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-12-2017, 01:08 PM
Jpaul74 Jpaul74 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Posts: 16
Default Buying or tying

Well, it would seem that i live in an area that hates fly fishermen. Local supply of anything in Peace River is extremely limited. Does anyone have any suggestions for an online shop to get their flies, or is everyone tying their own as well?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-12-2017, 02:59 PM
scel scel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 395
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpaul74 View Post
Well, it would seem that i live in an area that hates fly fishermen. Local supply of anything in Peace River is extremely limited. Does anyone have any suggestions for an online shop to get their flies, or is everyone tying their own as well?
For the years before I tied my own, Ickyflyworks.com (banner at top of web page) supplied the lion's share of my flies. Good quality and great pricing.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-12-2017, 03:03 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

Way cheaper I find to tie my own flies. The flies I tie aren't always all perfect looking like the ones in the store (they don't have to be), but I think the fish actually like them better because they are a bit more scraggly looking. I have way better luck fishing with flies I tie myself. You can get creative and tie basically anything you think looks like a bug or insect the fish might go for. 50% of all my flies are just my own creation and they work really well. Also I find the flies I tie myself to be more durable than the ones I buy in the store.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-12-2017, 04:31 PM
ShortsideK ShortsideK is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 158
Default online shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runewolf1973 View Post
Way cheaper I find to tie my own flies.
Maybe. Its tough to compare considering many online fly shops sell their flies for 50 cents to a dollar. Additionally, by tying your own, you spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on materials and equipment, eventually filling a small room with the stuff. I speak from experience.
That said, however, tying your own flies is a very enjoyable passtime.


The flies I tie aren't always all perfect looking like the ones in the store (they don't have to be), but I think the fish actually like them better because they are a bit more scraggly looking. I have way better luck fishing with flies I tie myself. You can get creative and tie basically anything you think looks like a bug or insect the fish might go for. 50% of all my flies are just my own creation and they work really well.
The fish don't like them better because they are a bit more scraggly looking. They work cuz those are the ones you're using.


Also I find the flies I tie myself to be more durable than the ones I buy in the store.
They're more durable maybe because you goop them up with Zap A Gap and put on a lot of wraps so they will be more durable. Also a reason they are less than perfect looking.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-12-2017, 05:20 PM
JReed's Avatar
JReed JReed is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cochrane
Posts: 514
Default

Definitely not cheaper to tie your own, however it is a great pass time in winter. It is very satisfying catching fish on home ties as well. I usually start tieing in November whenever I get some down time in the evening, by the time spring rolls around, it's awesome having a boat box thats brimming with multiple flies. When it's nice outside, the last thing you want is to be tieing flies, gotta be out fishing.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:09 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

I've never shopped online for flies, but the last time I looked in the fishing stores they were not cheap. 50 cents each is cheap if you can get them for that then go for it. It certainly didn't cost me hundreds of dollars to get into fly tying, but then again I've had many of the same materials for many years and like everything, that stuff probably all went up in price. The most expensive item was probably the vise. I also find materials for fly tying at craft and dollar stores so sometimes you just gotta keep an eye out for something that would make good flies. And yes...I do make some really nice flies...good looking, durable and the fish love em. No they're not perfect, but not far from it either as I am an artist and I do pay attention to detail. On the other hand, I have a bunch of store bought Elk Hair Caddis flies that look all pretty and perfect, but seem to fall apart on the second cast. I would recommend to someone interested to buy a beginner's fly tying set and just start tinkering around with it from there. You can always upgrade little by little as you go. My entire fly tying kit takes up no more room than a hand-held shopping basket and I can pretty much make whatever fly I want.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:43 PM
Bushrat's Avatar
Bushrat Bushrat is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,986
Default

Pretty much always tied my own flies since I was 10 or 12. You can invest plenty money in materials and tools. What I do notice is when I'm fishing I'll throw my fly into places most guys wont. They're scared of loosing their expensive store boughts. I've lost half a dozen or more flies before I finally get it under that branch just right, under that log jam, drift it to pass under that sweeper or right into that overhanging willow bush to that shady eddy where I know a fish is going to take it if I can get it on the water. If I'm not loosing flies left right and center I'm not fishing right. I got tons of material to replace them. As far as I'm concerned your going to miss the best fish unless your willing to lose a few flies. That's when tying pays for itself.

I liken fly tying to reloading, it's not worth the investment if your only shooting a box of shells a year.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-14-2017, 08:45 AM
Pikebreath Pikebreath is online now
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 908
Default

Fly tying is a great hobby,,, every fly that comes off your vise is like that juicy earthworm you dug as kid and threw into the worm can,,, it has the potential to be the one that catches you the biggest fish ever!!!

There is great deal of satisfaction in catching a fish on a fly you tied, even more so if it is a pattern tinkered with and designed by yourself to suit a particular fishing situation.

I have always thought that fly fishing makes one a better angler as you need to learn more about your target species to have success, and fly tying adds to that knowledge base.

Lots of good reasons to tie your own flies,,,,But if you start tying flies to save money, well, that folks is just false economy!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:33 AM
jgib01's Avatar
jgib01 jgib01 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kipp's Crossing
Posts: 138
Default

I started tying 2 winters ago. Seemed like a natural progression for me, as I started fly fishing in 2014. There are some flies I really enjoy tying and have done a lot of, and others that are simply frustrating. At this point, it isn't worth my time to try and tie an Adams Irresistible (I suck at deer hair), when I can buy them for $.65 to $1 online. Icky and Reelflies are my usual go-to's, though as I tie more myself as my time allows, I am buying less and less.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:49 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,327
Default

I'm mixed, I tie and buy. Also depends on the particular body of water too Some require your own tie to better match the naturals and some you can get away bought flies. I always buy my mosquitos and my pheasant tail nymphs. Most of the rest is just experimentation with some new buys. The rest I tie.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:00 AM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

I save money tying my own large grasshopper patterns because you can go through a lot of the expensive $4.00 to $5.00 store bought ones catching goldeye. Their little teeth can really rip apart flies fast. So it depends on the situation. Sometimes it's cheaper to tie your own, other times it's a lot cheaper and easier if you can just buy them for 50 cents each.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:32 AM
Pikebreath Pikebreath is online now
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 908
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runewolf1973 View Post
I save money tying my own large grasshopper patterns because you can go through a lot of the expensive $4.00 to $5.00 store bought ones catching goldeye. Their little teeth can really rip apart flies fast. So it depends on the situation. Sometimes it's cheaper to tie your own, other times it's a lot cheaper and easier if you can just buy them for 50 cents each.
The marginal unit cost of materials per fly tied is certainly cheaper than store bought,,, but if you factor in all the start up costs of tying equipment and materials acquisition and then factor in an hourly wage, and amortise those costs against the few dozen you might actually use in season of fishing, well that changes the cost per fly tied on to your tippet rather significantly.

Fly tying is a labour of love,,, it's fun,,, rewarding,,, extends your fishing season into the off season,,, all in all a great stress reliever!!!

But if you want to save money, you would be better off taking a second job of two hours per week mowing lawns in the summer or shovelling snow in the winter. You could earn enough to buy several dozen flies for the up coming fishing season,,, and you would have probably have enough left over cash to buy a new fly rod and gas money to get out fishing for the year!!!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:03 AM
3blade's Avatar
3blade 3blade is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,424
Default

Been tying my own since 7-8 yrs old. I consider it a required part of learning to flyfish.

As far as saving money, it's all about buying good equipment the first time and not buying materials/junk that you don't need. It certainly will pay for itself, but over decades. And I can happily throw flys into any nasty spot without concern, where fly buyers will avoid those spots.
__________________
DEER!!! No...nope. Hay bale.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:26 AM
Okotokian's Avatar
Okotokian Okotokian is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Uh, guess? :)
Posts: 26,702
Default

I just got into tying. I didn't do it as a money saver. I don't lose that many flies and with the cost of the vise, etc plus cost of materials I think it will be a lot of years before it pays for itself. I bought it as a hobby. I'm actually wondering with I'll do with all the flies I make! LOL
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
In this case Oki has cut to to the exact heart of the matter!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:39 AM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikebreath View Post
The marginal unit cost of materials per fly tied is certainly cheaper than store bought,,, but if you factor in all the start up costs of tying equipment and materials acquisition and then factor in an hourly wage, and amortise those costs against the few dozen you might actually use in season of fishing, well that changes the cost per fly tied on to your tippet rather significantly.

Fly tying is a labour of love,,, it's fun,,, rewarding,,, extends your fishing season into the off season,,, all in all a great stress reliever!!!

But if you want to save money, you would be better off taking a second job of two hours per week mowing lawns in the summer or shovelling snow in the winter. You could earn enough to buy several dozen flies for the up coming fishing season,,, and you would have probably have enough left over cash to buy a new fly rod and gas money to get out fishing for the year!!!


Then you just tell you're wife or girlfriend or family members you want fly tying stuff for Christmas or your birthday. Problem solved.

As a hobby it is great. You can even get your kids into fly tying and it is a great way to spend time with them. If you're trying to make any money by tying flies well....good luck with that. I agree for the most part it's one of those hobbies you can spend more money on equipment than you'll ever get out of it, but you can have a lot of fun doing at the same time.

Last edited by Runewolf1973; 08-14-2017 at 11:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:49 AM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

I think it would be kinda cool to have a local fly tying club (kinda like a chess club) where guys can get together, tie flies, share materials if there's something you don't have, learn tricks and tips, meet new people, have coffee and just shoot the sh**. Fly tying is fun with others.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:13 PM
Okotokian's Avatar
Okotokian Okotokian is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Uh, guess? :)
Posts: 26,702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runewolf1973 View Post
I think it would be kinda cool to have a local fly tying club (kinda like a chess club) where guys can get together, tie flies, share materials if there's something you don't have, learn tricks and tips, meet new people, have coffee and just shoot the sh**. Fly tying is fun with others.
They exist. Edmonton and Calgary for sure. Other towns I don't know. Where do you live?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
In this case Oki has cut to to the exact heart of the matter!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:24 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okotokian View Post
They exist. Edmonton and Calgary for sure. Other towns I don't know. Where do you live?
Red Deer.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:28 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

I guess there is one in central Alberta. Thanks for the pointer Okotokian!

http://rdflytying.blogspot.ca
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:28 PM
Okotokian's Avatar
Okotokian Okotokian is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Uh, guess? :)
Posts: 26,702
Default

yur' welcome. Go for sure. You will have a group of people very welcoming and happy to help you out. You can take a fly tying course from a fly shop for a couple hundred bucks, or you can go to a club like that, pay a small membership fee, and have people teach you for free on equipment and using materials supplied by the club. Plus they will have fishing outings you can go on, etc.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
In this case Oki has cut to to the exact heart of the matter!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:54 PM
bobalong's Avatar
bobalong bobalong is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,438
Default

I have always tied most of own flies, and now after moving to a rural area where I only fish stillwater I tie them all. I have a few dry flies to use if a good hatch comes off, but mostly I just tie a variation of floating, micro, balanced and regular leeches, scuds, back-swimmers and chironomids. I have lots of other flies but for stillwater in this area those are pretty hard to beat.
__________________
If I am lucky enough to live at the lake one day, that's lucky enough.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-14-2017, 02:22 PM
CharleyNapalm CharleyNapalm is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default

I buy every fly that I use... they are so cheap ($0.80 - $2.00) depending on what you're buying. I always buy them online because they're so much cheaper. I just don't have any interest in tying them
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-14-2017, 03:11 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyNapalm View Post
I buy every fly that I use... they are so cheap ($0.80 - $2.00) depending on what you're buying. I always buy them online because they're so much cheaper. I just don't have any interest in tying them
Where's a good place to buy flies online?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-14-2017, 03:29 PM
CharleyNapalm CharleyNapalm is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runewolf1973 View Post
Where's a good place to buy flies online?
http://www.ickyflyworks.ca/alberta_outdoorsmen.php you get 10% off (banner at the top)

www.reelflies.ca

Both have good selection of flies !
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-14-2017, 03:53 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyNapalm View Post
http://www.ickyflyworks.ca/alberta_outdoorsmen.php you get 10% off (banner at the top)

www.reelflies.ca

Both have good selection of flies !

Wow, great prices! Some of those flies are $5.00 - $6.00 in a store. Going to definitely look into buying some. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-14-2017, 04:51 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 271
Default

Tying your own is an excellent way to spend a winter evening, and lord knows there's a few of those in this neck of the woods. And if you're an NFL fan, can always have a game in the background. A hockey game in the background doesn't work for me.

I've tied lots of fish taking patterns that one would be hard pressed to find in a fly shop and don't even get me started on the cost of pike flies in a store!
__________________
I fish, therefore I am.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-15-2017, 01:08 PM
Jadham Jadham is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 940
Default

Practically speaking I both tie and buy. Some flies are just not worth the effort to tie, and sometimes the local shop has the go to fly for that area.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-15-2017, 04:33 PM
scel scel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 395
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runewolf1973 View Post
Way cheaper I find to tie my own flies. The flies I tie aren't always all perfect looking like the ones in the store (they don't have to be), but I think the fish actually like them better because they are a bit more scraggly looking. I have way better luck fishing with flies I tie myself. You can get creative and tie basically anything you think looks like a bug or insect the fish might go for. 50% of all my flies are just my own creation and they work really well. Also I find the flies I tie myself to be more durable than the ones I buy in the store.
For the record, I got into fly tying to save money. I probably go through 100 hooks a year. I know that sounds crazy. My record for number of lost flies in 1 day is 22. I lost 12 caddis dries just the other day.

It is not a question of 'if' a subsurface fly will be lost, but rather of 'when'.

The particular risk is if you are using multiple hook rigs. Like a typical bow river nymph rig, or a hopper dropper.

The price of a less expensive rotary vise and the materials to tie flies for both pike and Bow River trout costs about $1000.
This is the materials to tie:
San Juan sz6-10
wooly buggers (olive, black, brown, white) sz6-12
beadhead nymphs sz12-20
trout/bass streamers sz2-12
caddis dries sz12-16
mayfly dries sz10-20 (green drakes, PMD, BWO, and tricos)
Pike rabbit strip leeches sz 4/0-2/0 (black, white, olive, red, chartreuse)
Pike synthetic minnows sz 4/0-2/0

There are many expensive materials, but they last a really long time, like rooster cape. A 'bugger pack' costs over $30, but will probably tie a couple hundred flies. But to buy black, white, brown, and grizzly will be upward of $120. Once you get everything in front of you, the approximate cost per
trout dry fly: $0.35
trout nymph: $0.50 ($0.75 for tungsten bead)
trout/bass streamer (weighted with a bead, cone, or eyes): $0.80
pike fly: $2.00

Take an average cost of tying your own flies to be $0.50 at about 100 flies per year, it would take 20 years for tying your own flies to be even with buying flies from Icky. It will come to parity much quicker if you tie your own pike flies though. Pike flies are very expensive at the store (usually $6-$10), and every one of them has a finite lifetime (pike destroy flies). So, if you are an avid pike angler, spending between 15-20 days on the water, I would expect to go through 10-15 flies. I went through 25 pike flies between May 8 to June 16 (I spent 10 days in Northern Sask). Those pike flies would have cost upward of $220 in the store, but they only cost me about $50

There is also the cost of learning. It takes 10 or so tries to tie a new fly. This cost goes down with practice.

For fly tying to be a value savings endeavour, you have to fish a lot for many different species. With over 100 rod days, it will probably take 5 or so years to come to parity with buying flies.

I will fly fish for my entire life (or as long as I can physically do it), so fly tying will definitely be cost-saving skill.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-15-2017, 04:58 PM
professori professori is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Coquitlam, BC
Posts: 117
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scel View Post
For the record, I got into fly tying to save money. I probably go through 100 hooks a year. I know that sounds crazy. My record for number of lost flies in 1 day is 22. I lost 12 caddis dries just the other day.

It is not a question of 'if' a subsurface fly will be lost, but rather of 'when'.

The particular risk is if you are using multiple hook rigs. Like a typical bow river nymph rig, or a hopper dropper.

The price of a less expensive rotary vise and the materials to tie flies for both pike and Bow River trout costs about $1000.
This is the materials to tie:
San Juan sz6-10
wooly buggers (olive, black, brown, white) sz6-12
beadhead nymphs sz12-20
trout/bass streamers sz2-12
caddis dries sz12-16
mayfly dries sz10-20 (green drakes, PMD, BWO, and tricos)
Pike rabbit strip leeches sz 4/0-2/0 (black, white, olive, red, chartreuse)
Pike synthetic minnows sz 4/0-2/0

There are many expensive materials, but they last a really long time, like rooster cape. A 'bugger pack' costs over $30, but will probably tie a couple hundred flies. But to buy black, white, brown, and grizzly will be upward of $120. Once you get everything in front of you, the approximate cost per
trout dry fly: $0.35
trout nymph: $0.50 ($0.75 for tungsten bead)
trout/bass streamer (weighted with a bead, cone, or eyes): $0.80
pike fly: $2.00

Take an average cost of tying your own flies to be $0.50 at about 100 flies per year, it would take 20 years for tying your own flies to be even with buying flies from Icky. It will come to parity much quicker if you tie your own pike flies though. Pike flies are very expensive at the store (usually $6-$10), and every one of them has a finite lifetime (pike destroy flies). So, if you are an avid pike angler, spending between 15-20 days on the water, I would expect to go through 10-15 flies. I went through 25 pike flies between May 8 to June 16 (I spent 10 days in Northern Sask). Those pike flies would have cost upward of $220 in the store, but they only cost me about $50

There is also the cost of learning. It takes 10 or so tries to tie a new fly. This cost goes down with practice.

For fly tying to be a value savings endeavour, you have to fish a lot for many different species. With over 100 rod days, it will probably take 5 or so years to come to parity with buying flies.

I will fly fish for my entire life (or as long as I can physically do it), so fly tying will definitely be cost-saving skill.
You might be correct (but for me I doubt it). I look at the wall and cupboards in my tying room and there is conservatively $5000+ in materials alone . I really don't know anyone who ties because they actually think they are getting a cheaper fly. Most tiers do it because they can get a better quality fly every time (after a few years practice), they can get a fly that isn't available in the fly shops, they can get the fly they need when they need it (or anticipate the need for it) and they flat out enjoy tying flies. That last criteria I think is the most important. I have known a lot of flyfishers who have bought a kit, tried tying flies and found they didn't enjoy it...never opened the kit again. Different strokes.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-15-2017, 07:57 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 76
Default

I would never spend that kind of money on tying flies. My entire kit cost me a little over a hundred dollars and I got everything I need to make all the flies I need, including pike flies. It all fits inside a shopping basket. If you're the type that needs the most expensive, fancy vise or the most premium feathers then of course it will not be economical to tie flies. I am the creative type and I get creative when the money isn't there. You can probably find most of what you need to make some really decent pike flies from a dollar store. You won't be able to match exact patterns found in books, but you can create your own patterns. If you want to match the exact patterns of all the different flies found in books, you will no doubt spend a sh** ton of money for all the different materials you'll need. I prefer creative over costly.

Like someone above said...different strokes for different folks.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.